Have you tried losing weight for a long period of time, but every attempted effort has failed? Do you feel stress and anxiety in your belly? Do you experience irritable bowels and irregularities in your digestion? How can you overcome these health issues?
Luckily, our gastrointestinal (GI) system holds the key to unlocking and understanding many of the secrets our bodies hold.
You may have experienced this. Your stomach churns when facing a deadline. Or you can’t lose weight, no matter how much work, effort and time you put into your diet. In fact, you might even feel bloated after every meal. What’s to blame for all of these symptoms and more? Poor gut health. In fact, some forms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be caused by poor GI health.
But guess what?
We have the key to finding out what your gut health is doing to your body.
The GI Microbial Assay Plus test (GI-MAP test), also known as gut microbiome analysis, has recently emerged as a groundbreaking tool in understanding the complex ecosystem that lives within us. A mountain of research and studies over the past decade reveals the pivotal role the gut microbiome plays in our overall health. Researchers have found that poor gut health can contribute to the development of diseases, can weaken our immune systems, and can prevent weight loss.
GI mapping offers a unique opportunity to delve deep into the intricacies of your gut’s microbial world. It provides insights into the composition, diversity, and functionality of your gut health.
The stories that the GI-MAP test tells doctors and healthcare providers about your gut can result in personalized medicinal treatments, disease diagnosis, and other therapeutic interventions. By unlocking the mysteries of this microbiome, the GI-MAP test shows exciting promise for improving and revolutionizing these fields of medicine.
Benefits of GI-MAP Testing
Identifies Pathogens in Your Gut
Harmful bacteria, parasitic intruders, invasive viruses, and damaging fungi could all be residing in your gut. GI mapping, which examines the microbial function and composition of your GI tract, can detect the presence of these infection-causing microbes and help doctors diagnose and treat various gastrointestinal issues.
Assessing Microbiome Imbalance
Providing insightful information about the balance of the beneficial bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms in your gut, a GI-MAP test can identify imbalances in the microbial diversity. These conditions, such as dysbiosis, are associated with several other health conditions.
Allows Personalized Treatment Plans
Knowing what your gut health says about you is a huge step in the right direction for doctors to be able to pinpoint what is wrong. GI mapping helps them come up with personalized treatment plans tailored to exactly what you need based on your unique gut composition. A GI-MAP test can help healthcare providers develop plans based on the specific microbial imbalances and pathogens identified. Targeting exactly what’s wrong leads to better health outcomes.
Detects Opportunistic Infections
The earlier you can find out something is amiss, the better chance you have of fixing it. GI-MAP testing allows for early detection in identifying opportunistic infections that can cause illness in people with weakened immune systems. Infections also occur when typically harmless microorganisms overgrow, but early detection allows for timely treatment, intervention, and management of these infections.
Evaluate Your Digestive Function
The information from GI mapping gives your healthcare provider an overall assessment of the functionality of your digestive system. It measures markers including enzyme activity, inflammation, and immune function. This knowledge can give doctors valuable insights into the underlying causes of your digestive disorders and other problems like weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
Monitors Treatment Progress
Is your doctor’s treatment plan working? The GI-MAP test can determine this. The effectiveness of any interventions can be tracked by the provider by retesting after treatment. GI mapping will answer whether your treatment should continue and if the balance of your gut microbiome is evident. You’ll know too if the pathogens were eliminated by your personalized plan.
GI Mapping is Part of Preventative Healthcare
Want to get ahead of the game? The GI-MAP test can also be used to prescribe preventative healthcare plans. When your doctor identifies imbalances in your gut, they can put preventative healthcare measures in place that help stop the development of chronic conditions and maintain ultimate gut health.
Poor Gut Health Can Inhibit Weight Loss Efforts
A Weight loss Journey: Sarah’s Story
For years, Sarah tried to lose weight. She had to. She was pre-diabetic, morbidly obese, and tired all the time. She tried all the fad diets, exercised fairly regularly, chose foods that she thought were “healthy,” drank plenty of water, and checked pretty much every box she could to help her along on her journey.
She worked tirelessly, trying to make the weight loss plans work for her — all to no avail. She would drop a pound here or there, but when it came down to it, the scale didn’t move in the right direction. In fact, some days, she would gain. She began to feel frustrated and beat down by the entire process — always feeling like she was fighting a losing battle. Why couldn’t she lose the weight? What was wrong with her?
After visiting with her healthcare provider, Sarah found the answers to these questions and the answer to her problems. The secret: Her poor gut health was impeding her efforts. Unraveling the secrets of her gut, Sarah’s GI-MAP test results held the key to unlocking the hidden world inside her body that was keeping her from getting the weight off, despite her best efforts.
Little did she know, Sarah was fighting a losing battle against a type of bacteria that infected her stomach lining called Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. Though this type of bacteria doesn’t directly cause weight gain or prevent weight loss, it can cause a variety of gastrointestinal conditions that can impede weight loss, prevent it all together, or even cause weight gain in some cases.
Getting a GI-MAP test and finding the H. pylori infection in her body helped her doctor discover what the problem was and come up with a personal solution to get her weight loss back on track. After years of yo-yo fad dieting, Sarah had almost given up.
This story sounds like so many others that medical professionals with patients experiencing similar stomach bacterial infections have witnessed. H. pylori is associated with various gastrointestinal conditions like gastritis and peptic ulcers. The infection can impede weight loss or influence weight gain indirectly through several mechanisms like gastric inflammation, disruption of Ghrelin levels, altered gut microbiome, and impacted hormones and metabolism.
Gastric Inflammation as a Result of H. Pylori
When a buildup of H. pylori causes an infection in the stomach, you can experience chronic inflammation of the stomach lining. This can affect the absorption of nutrients, disrupt normal digestive processes, and contribute to other symptoms like bloating, discomfort, and nausea. Symptoms can include aches or burning pains in the stomach, stomach pain that can actually worsen when the stomach is empty, frequent burping, unintended weight loss, and bloating or unexplained weight gain.
Disruption of Ghrelin Levels
If you’re trying to lose weight, this is probably the most frustrating of the gut health issues caused by H. Pylori. Ghrelin is commonly referred to as the “hunger hormone” because it makes you hungry by stimulating your appetite. There have been many studies that suggest an infection of this type can alter the levels of ghrelin in the body and lead to an inability to regulate your appetite. If the infection increases production of ghrelin, the increased appetite that occurs as a result can increase your appetite and potentially cause weight gain in the patient, thwarting any attempt at weight loss.
Altered Gut Microbiome
There is a very intricate and diverse community of microorganisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract, and H. pylori infections can easily disrupt this balance. A balanced microbiome plays a crucial role in raised metabolism levels, absorption of nutrients, and regulation of energy expenditure. Because infection affects these crucial processes, you might feel these imbalances because of the strong influence they have on weight management. In other words, you might struggle to lose weight or to keep it.
Impact on Hormones and Metabolism
An infection of this type can have a huge impact on hormones that are involved in appetite regulation and metabolism. Ghrelin, as discussed before, leptin, and insulin levels can all be disrupted as a result of an H. pylori infection in the stomach lining. With knowledge provided by GI mapping, your doctor can monitor changes in the levels or the functioning of these hormones. They can develop a treatment plan that fights the infection, and helps you regain better hormone and metabolic rates that positively impact your energy and body weight regulation.
The GI-MAP Test Process: A Non-Invasive, Cutting-Edge Approach to Gut Health
For Sarah and so many others, the GI-MAP test has paved the way for a true understanding of the microbial world inside their stomachs, and what it means to have a healthy gut. The good news is that GI mapping is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that can empower healthcare professionals to uncover a wealth of data and help you find solutions to the health problems you’re encountering.
So, what’s the process? How does this work?
The GI-MAP test assesses the status of the GI tract and its microbial inhabitants through advanced DNA sequencing technology. In order to get this information, you’ll use a provided collection kit to send in stool samples. The kit contains clear instructions on how to collect and submit the sample properly.
The samples are then analyzed to provide insight into the composition and functionality of the microbiome present in the gut. After the analysis, a report is generated that summarizes the findings. This information is shared with the healthcare professional who ordered the test. These results are interpreted in context of your medical history.
Important information about the presence of pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms, imbalances in the microbes, and other markers of gut inflammation are discovered through the sample processing. The test can also identify potential deficiencies in digestive enzymes, assess the integrity of the stomach walls and lining, and even detect markers of weakening immune systems.
In essence, through this simple collection and GI mapping test, you and your doctor can obtain a wealth of knowledge and come up with a targeted intervention and personalized plan of attack to help you feel better, faster. Through the analysis, both your healthcare provider and you will find a deep understanding of the intricate relationship of gut health and overall well-being.
You’ve Been Searching: Let’s Find the Answers, Together
The patients that visit Dr. Tara Rasta are looking for answers to one or more of the following issues:
- why they feel tired
- why they have horrible IBS or IBD pain
- why they have digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation
- why they feel brain fog
- why they experience skin problems like acne or psoriasis
- why they are dealing with mood imbalances like depression or anxiety
- why they have experienced symptoms of diabetes
- why they are having some type of issue regarding weight loss.
If you’re looking for the answers to these or similar questions, let’s see what your gut health has to say about your overall health.
We can help you find an optimized plan and solution that works for your individual needs. It’s time to stop putting band-aid fixes like laxatives, fad diets, antacids, and other methods that don’t work on gut health issues. Let’s discover real answers to real problems together, today!
Call Dr. Tara now at (714) 679-8608 or book an appointment here to discuss how we can help you on the road to better gut health.